If you’re a student, then you’ll know that the government last year announced plans to scrap university maintenance grants (beginning in 2016). If you don’t know this then you’re not very good at being a student. No more ‘free money’; therein university is no longer inaccessible to the poorest in society; therein university is becoming more elitist and so on. True to an extent. However, the problem here is not that the grants have been scrapped; it’s the lack something else in their place.
The grant system in general is extremely out-dated. The parameters for determining how much grant a student will get are very basic. I have received a grant myself, and there is much more to consider than simply income. I can’t tell you what it should be replaced with as I’m no economist. But there must be better ways to determine who are the most deserving of grants.
I am not a Tory supporter. At all. But let’s remember, though maintenance grants are gone, money will now be there – just in the form of a loan. Those who require extra money are not being stripped of it completely. Remember tuition fees being raised? I was against them (and I still am, to some extent). Remember how no-one would want to go to university anymore and it was the beginning of austerity, and higher-education was a neutron star about to collapse in on itself spectacularly? Well, it didn’t turn out so bad did it? Lots of people, perhaps too many (see two paragraphs down) still go to university.
We humans are silly in nature. Always wanting the end result, but not willing to suffer any hardship to get there. Remember the recession? That was pretty awful. Not something we’d like to repeat. Cuts needed making and some were going to feel the force of them more than others. Again – I’m no Tory sympathiser. The cuts made were too drastic and in the wrong areas. Nevertheless, I am bored of this human culture that seeks some kind of economic paradise – a haven of global financial stability that involves to struggle to reach. It’s simply not real.
And hey, a few less people going to university may actually raise the stock of a degree. The vast majority of teens are pushed through the bottleneck of university nowadays. I have a friend who now works for an estate agency and, though I love university, it has been very refreshing to see someone forge a path for themselves in life without the rudimentary degree. ‘When everyone’s super, no-one will be’ said the fictional super baddie from Pixar’s the Incredibles, and when that sentiment is substituted with your average student trying to break free from the shackles of a higher education, and consequently the value behind a degree diminishes. ‘When everyone has a degree, no-one will give a crap about them anymore’ is an example of potential future attitudes. This is degree-based inflation, people. Maybe scrapping the maintenance grants will put a stop to this.
Lets’ give the new system a fair crack. Then, afterwards, we can complain if we hate it.